Professor Roy Bicknell

Roy Bicknell.Cancer Research H and S Day 4.

Professor Roy Bicknell is focussed on understanding and therapeutically targeting tumour angiogenesis.

Professor of Functional Genomics, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham. 


UoB profile


Background and Research focus

Professor Bicknell and his group are interested in the molecular basis of angiogenesis and majority of their work focuses on trying to understand the process and to identify novel targets for anti-cancer therapy. This involves the identification of novel genes active in the process and study of their biological behaviour. In the last few years they have identified several genes (including Delta4, Robo4, EndoPDI, ECSCR and CLEC14a) that play a key role in the angiogenic process in both normal development as well as pathologies such as tumours. Roy’s group is working with Dr Steven Lee, Dr Kai Toellner, and industrial collaborators to develop novel strategies to target the tumour endothelium. These include chimeric antigen receptor approaches, therapeutic antibodies, and anti-angiogenic vaccination strategies.



Tumour angiogeneis; endothelial biology; functional genomics; anti-angiogenic therapy.


Other activities

In addition to running an active research group Roy Bicknell is the head of the Cancer Research UK Angiogenesis group. He has also recently developed an interest in modern techniques of genomics including deep sequencing which he is exploiting to profile the tumour vasculature. Roy is a renowned in the fields of angiogenesis and endothelial biology having published over 200 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters. Moreover, he has been awarded major grants from Cancer Research UK, the European Union and the British Heart Foundation funding bodies. Roy is also involved in teaching by delivering lectures and tutorials on various undergraduate (BMedSc) and postgraduate (MSc clinical oncology) programmes. Finally, he frequently speaks at numerous national and international scientific meetings as well as to the lay public at charity fundraisers.



Zhuang, X., F. Ahmed, Y. Zhang, H.J. Ferguson, J.C. Steele, N.M. Steven, Z. Nagy, V.L. Heath, K.-M. Toellner, and R. Bicknell. Robo4 vaccines induce antibodies that retard tumor growth Angiogenesis 2015. 18: 83-95.

Ferguson HJ, Wragg J, Ismail T, Bicknell R. Vaccination against tumour blood vessels in colorectal cancer. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2014 Feb;40(2):133-6.

Wragg JW, Durant S, McGettrick HM, Sample KM, Egginton S, Bicknell R. Shear stress regulated gene expression and angiogenesis in vascular endothelium. Microcirculation. 2014 Jan 28

Mura M, Swain RK, Zhuang X, Vorschmitt H, Reynolds G, Durant S, Beesley JF, Herbert JM, Sheldon H, Andre M, Sanderson S, Glen K, Luu NT, McGettrick HM, Antczak P, Falciani F, Nash GB, Nagy ZS, Bicknell R. Identification and angiogenic role of the novel tumor endothelial marker CLEC14A. Oncogene. 2012 Jan 19;31(3):293-305.

Egginton S, Bicknell R. Advances in the cellular and molecular biology of angiogenesis. Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Dec;39(6):1551-5.

Herbert JM, Stekel DJ, Mura M, Sychev M, Bicknell R. Bioinformatic methods for finding differentially expressed genes in cDNA libraries, applied to the identification of tumour vascular targets. Methods Mol Biol. 2011;729:99-119.

Zhuang X, Cross D, Heath VL, Bicknell R. Shear stress, tip cells and regulators of endothelial migration. Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Dec;39(6):1571-5.

Ahmed Z, Bicknell R. Angiogenic signalling pathways. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;467:3-24.

Heath VL, Bicknell R. Anticancer strategies involving the vasculature. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2009 Jul;6(7):395-404.

Ahmed F, Steele JC, Herbert JM, Steven NM, Bicknell R. Tumor stroma as a target in cancer. Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2008 Sep;8(6):447-53.

Herbert JM, Stekel D, Sanderson S, Heath VL, Bicknell R. A novel method of differential gene expression analysis using multiple cDNA libraries applied to the identification of tumour endothelial genes. BMC Genomics. 2008 Apr 7;9:153.